Family support worker

Family support workers help and advise families with long or short-term difficulties.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become a Family support worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


You could do a:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths

More information


You could do a children, young people and families practitioner higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a higher or a degree apprenticeship

More information

Volunteering and experience

Experience is essential when applying for training or jobs. You can get this through paid or voluntary work in:

  • children's homes
  • nurseries
  • family refuge centres
  • probation services
  • family community centres
  • mental health services
  • youth projects

Direct application

Employers will expect you to have:

  • experience in working with children, young people and their families
  • a minimum of a level 3 qualification in childcare, social work, social care, counselling, youth work or education

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to understand people‚Äôs reactions
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • working with people who have drug or alcohol addiction
  • supporting a parent in hospital or prison
  • supporting clients who are experiencing marital or financial difficulties
  • supporting a child or parent with a disability
  • being present at court sessions dealing with care orders for children
  • working with social workers to assess a family's needs when a child returns home after being in care
  • supporting people with language barriers who are struggling to access services
  • developing a client’s parenting and home management skills

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a client's home or in a court.

Career path and progression

With experience and qualifications you could focus on a particular area, like working with people with disabilities.

You could also progress to team leader (managing a group of support workers) or become an assistant manager of a family centre or refuge.

Experience in family support may help if you want to move into social work.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Lead Adult Care Worker Apprentice

  • Wage : £111.00 Weekly
  • Location: Bilston WV14 7LS

Apprentice Care Support Worker

  • Wage : £300.00 Weekly
  • Location: Bridgwater TA6 3EP

Courses In England

Health and Social Care Diploma

  • Provider: Chenderit School
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: BANBURY

Health and Social Care Diploma

  • Provider: North Oxfordshire Academy
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Banbury

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

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